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Comments: 15
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Rating: 4.0714
Condition: Normal
ID: 2688


March 14, 2007, 10:37 pm

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Kissing toad


Her lips pressed against the soaking flesh of the toad, and Viova’s words entered her mind…

Massive, obese, bloated, gigantic, all ways to describe the titanic mass of flesh that is the Kissing toad, and all are understatements. A sharp, purple-blue in color, the giant of a amphibian almost totally blends in with the marble in it’s half-submerged cavern under Vionoi, and could easily do so entirely were it not for the creature’s bulging, milky-white eyes.

No one is sure of just how old the toad is, or whether or not multiple toads exist. Tales of the beast date back to the time of Arash, long before the founding of the Tale Empire. Regarded as a prophet of Viova, the Kissing toad was said to be found at the site where Vionoi, and thus, the toad itself, are now. Several passages from the Ouryitzan claim that the toad was the sign Viova set for the build, and are as follows:

“...when you come to the place of blue waters and blue rock, you will a find a toad, who will convey to the people of the world my word, and there you shall build a city in the image of my palace…”

The Kissing toad secretes a powerful hallucinogen from its pudgy, bloated lips, that will quickly enter the bloodstream from any prolonged contact with it, such as a kiss. The hallucinations that this produces are often related to Viova and his associated domains, and it is customary for pilgrims that travel to Vionoi to kiss the toad on their last day there.

An oracle and caretaker of the toad (always female, and often an oblate from a noble family,) resides in the Kissing toad’s pit, and it is her job to coax the creature out for pilgrims, and often to interpret thei visions. During a crisis, an oracle may spend prolonged periods with the toad,  emerging weeks later with a solution. Once they have been claimed as an oracle, a young woman may never go farther than the antechamber in front of the toads cave, and many have poor eyesight because of the lack of light stimulating their retinae.

The body of an oracle has never been found, and some scholars hypothesize that the toad eats their corpse upon their deaths. Others claim that an oracle is turned into another toad, and the one they took care of joins Viova in his palace. Some extremists believe that the toad has sex with the oracles, and she goes on to lay a single egg (the next toad) before being either devoured by its father or dissappearing from the mortal realm entirely, though they are usually proclaimed heretics, and few live long.

Adventure hooks
1. The Hotfoot clan makes an attempt at the toad’s life, hoping to throw Tale and Kalmshan into a brutal religious war over who killed it.

2. An oracle of the toad appears before the PCs, and tells them that the toad tried to kill her.

3. Scholars find that the toad’s cavern extends much deeper than they thought, and there are in fact a whole community of the kissing toads and other subterranean creatures. The PCs are drafted to explore the complex and find where it leads.

4. Someone has stolen the toad and oracle, digging up from below the cavern and dragging them down in to the bowels of the earth, but who?

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Pariah
May 26, 2006, 21:15
I like this, a pretty oracle for an ugly frog.
Voted CaptainPenguin
May 26, 2006, 21:40
Only voted
Voted Scrasamax
May 26, 2006, 22:37

I like it, especially the female toad wrangler/oracle
Voted Iain
May 27, 2006, 4:52
Only voted
Voted manfred
May 27, 2006, 5:14
What Scrasamax said.
Voted Cheka Man
May 27, 2006, 7:56
Is the toad dangerous?
May 27, 2006, 17:55
I wan't thinking it would be, but I might expand on that later
Voted MoonHunter
May 27, 2006, 18:17
Hmmm. An interesting critter. It serves both ecology and sociology at the same time. Two paws!
Voted EchoMirage
June 1, 2006, 2:52
Murr! Meh likes.

Who needs a Pythia with vapors coming from a crack when they can have the real thing?

A devious way to twist a fairytale! :D
Voted Jarons20
February 11, 2007, 14:19
Love the idea, reminds me of the warring dragons under the mount
Interesting connection to their god as well, the hooks seem tame except for #4
Voted valadaar
March 15, 2007, 9:19
Yes, an excellent way to twist a fairy tale! Nice job!
Voted Murometz
February 12, 2008, 18:15
My kind of sub. Twisted Roack, as everyone said, and right up my alley. Good one!
Voted punkcasher
March 16, 2009, 14:58
I agree with Valadaar, cool stuff.

Voted Peppe Pepis
August 6, 2009, 10:52
Grotesque enough to appear in my games! Nice!!
Voted tinypoisonousfish
November 24, 2009, 19:23
Very interesting. Nice unseemly element mixed with the supernatural/religious. It would be cool at times to leave out the oracle (such as times when there just isn't one present, say from one dying and not yet having been replaced.)

This lets an aspiring querant have to crawl through a slimy passageway (or some other unwholesome path), going through hardships, perhaps a loss of status, to get to the creature - but then there should be more upright alternatives, this last option kept as a last resort, especially if the toad's hallucinatory visions are known to be more accurate, if at first puzzling.

This way, the player goes through the whole sordid ordeal, and the GM gets to play with them a bit. Just a suggestion.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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